A little more knowledge and I’ll be dangerous

Posted on February 15, 2010

Last Friday, Mr6 and I had our second joint guitar lesson. It was a much more relaxed affair than our first. Then, we were both nervous. Him because he gets nervous about anything new – he only likes to do things that he knows he can do, which, as I pointed out to him, is a bit limiting at this stage of his life. Me because I’m 40 years old – everyone I know who plays the guitar seems to have been doing it since they were, well, six.

But we went. Things didn’t get off to a great start when I got lost on the way to the lesson. Given the size of the town, this is no mean feat, but a new ‘no right turn’ sign (okay, it’s probably been there forever, but I’ve never had to turn right there before so somehow missed it) saw us driving in circles for a while.

Mr6 was very cool about it, only asking me why I was lost AGAIN about 16 times. I don’t get lost that often, but when you’re six and nervous everything seems larger than life.

Anyway, we spent half an hour with the delightful and accomplished B, the 17-year-old daughter of a friend who plays four instruments and wants to be a pilot. Nothing puts you in your place faster than learning from someone half your age.

We both learned G (world’s easiest note) and A, and then I took on some chords. The chords won. That ring finger you have, the one that doesn’t do much but support the jewellery of the moment? It actually has to do useful things when you play guitar chords. Mine more or less told me that I should not give up my day job.

We returned last Friday, to learn the note B (both of us) and another chord for me. Any more knowledge and I’ll be dangerous – or eligible to join the Sex Pistols at the very least (I think they started out with three chords between them). To be frank, I’m finding it challenging.

But I’m practising. Best of all, Mr6 is practising with me. We sit together and plink away – he calls it ‘getting out our guitars and having a bit of a fiddle’, which makes me laugh so much that I haven’t dissuaded him from that description. Not yet.

I’m not sure how long this adventure will last. My main aim is to introduce him to the idea of playing and just see if he likes it. I’ve told him that he only has to do one term at this stage and see how he feels after that. I intend to continue, though, because I’ve always wanted to learn, and I’ve told him that as well. I’m just hoping he’ll go along with me for the ride.

Hopefully, then, he won’t get to 40 and wish he’d started at six!


  1. tinsenpup

    Learning a new skill with your child can be such a great experience. Learning a new skill FROM your child (piano for instance) can be a terrible demoralizing experience. Don’t ask me how I know. Shudder…

  2. Amy

    I love that you two did this together!

    I started to play guitar when I was about 10 (along with the trumpet…) I haven’t played in 13 years though.

  3. therhythmmethod

    That fiddling comment will have me chuckling all day. ALL DAY!!
    How wonderful you are learning the guitar. I learned in primary school, tried lessons again at 15 and gave up. I loved it, but was too impatient to practice all the time. Now I am older, I get it: I should have stuck with it.
    So great you are teaching your boy that it’s important to try new things and practice helps you grow.
    Fantastic post. 🙂
    I went to school with a guy called Tim McMillan who was very clever and very funny. He played guitar at school and was good then; now he lives in Berlin and has released 2 albums. Please Google him, you will be impressed. He is playful and funny and truly amazing to watch.

  4. A Farmer's Wife

    I think it is wonderful that you and your son did that together. Absolutely adore the fact that you practice together. That is super cute.

  5. Being Me

    She can play four instruments and wants to be a pilot?? I feel ashamed of my lack of drive…

  6. Shelly - Tropical Mum

    What a lovely thing for you to do with your son. I bet that he will look back on that time fondly when he’s grown up.

    His fiddle comment made me giggle. Perhaps he should try the violin next and then he could continue saying it.

    Alas, I too attempted the guitar at around 20 years of age. Got blisters on my fingers and that’s about it.

  7. Cheers!

    All boys should know how to play guitar…chicks dig that. At least, that’s what my middle one tells me. 😉 Good for you for going with him!

  8. Ry

    It was the Ukelele for me in grade school. I had a wonderful and I mean wonderful teacher. Mrs Wensley.. I love this women to this day though I have not seen her for decades. So patient and kind, full of life. I still remember her telling the girls to stick the ukelele under a boob and strum. Likely these days, that comment would get her in hot water, but it was meant in the most comical way possible. I can still play to this day, a testament to a great teacher and Lessons that were more joy than hard work.
    Thanks for the trip down memory lane.


  9. InkPaperPen

    I played guitar for about a year in my early teens, I gave it up in favour of Netball. Dad said I would regret giving up the guitar. He was right. Hate it when that happens. The monkey has a ukulele, he dances around with it and pretends to be Bob Dylan. No idea where he got that from…

    But yes, how are the chords going? Would love to see a vlog performance of God Save The Queen!

    Gill xo

  10. Amanda

    So, so cute! Would have loved to be a fly on the wall at these lessons! I wonder if I’ll persuade my little man to do that with me when he’s a bit bigger. I actually did learn the guitar for about a year in high school (I went camping with friends, there was a guy playing his guitar at the campfire for a big singalong and I wanted to be that guy … well except that I’m a girl …) but have pretty much forgotten everything. Except that my fingers didn’t want to do what they were meant to.

  11. Tenille

    That’s a great approach; start with a term and see how it goes from there.

    Like everyone else, I’m interested to know if you’ve both kept it up.

  12. Lucy

    I find it hard to think that I did not know you or your blog back in Feb. How odd.

    How are you both going with the guitar now?

    Dare I ask, does Mr 6 still like to get the guitars out for a fiddle?!

  13. Looking for Blue Sky

    The original 3-chord group were Status Quo…somehow you don’t sound like the kind of woman to be playing their music…I used to play piano and guitar but once the kids arrived there never seemed to be the time and now my piano just looks reproachfully at me every time I go into the room n which I’ve hidden it..

  14. Note From Lapland

    I do love a bit of a fiddle. Never learnt to play the guitar though…

  15. Cate

    How are the lessons going now? I did piano lessons for 11 years and still can’t play 🙁 Not one of god’s great musical talents sadly. Love that you are learning along with your son…what a wonderful memory you are making for him xxx

  16. ClaireyH

    I wish I could play piano, I did have lessons but can’t play a single song now, what a waste of all that money and time!

  17. MultipleMum

    Yes, I read this one too but no comment from me either. We mustn’t have worked out the whole blogging thing back in Feb? Look how far you two have come with your guitar prowess! Amazing what a few months can do for a person (or two). xx

  18. Maxabella

    Back to where it all began… this was the stage where the Fibro was already a ‘must read daily’ but I hadn’t learned how to do comments and stuff. More importantly, I hadn’t yet learned just how important a comment is to a blogger.

    My comment at the time would have been “I am so impressed that you are learning the guitar and even more impressed that you are doing it with the Bear. Too sweet for words”. Or comments, apparently. x

  19. brismod

    I love how you are learning an instrument with your son. And from a 17 year old!!

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